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At a quarter before nine the earl of Harrington arrived at the Mansion House, accompanied by lady Farrington, lord Petersham, and lady Anne Maria Stanhope, and his staff. About the same time arrived the sheriff's of London. The whole party immediately set off to the Tower Stairs, in procession, preceded by the Jord mayor's carriage and six horses. Having reached the waterside, the earl of Harrington and the lord mayor alighted, and repaired to the governor of the Tower, where he met his royal highness the duke of York, and his four aids-de-camp, with whom they returned, and embarked on board the lord mayor's barge, (under a royal salute) from the Tower Stairs. They were followed by a committee of the corporation, who had the colours in charge, and the staff of the commander in chief.
The volunteer regiments were ready by eight o'clock, when the signal was given for the embarkation, which was quickly obeyed. The first, second, fourth, 6fth, and sixth, embarked at the King's Stairs, at the Tower; the seventh, eighth, and eleventh, at Custom House Quay; and the ninth and tenth, at the stairs next the Steel Yard, above London Bridge. They moved on in the following order: Four guns-boats, led by commodore Lucas.
The lord mayor's barge. Two city barges with the committee; and one hundred and
twenty-nine troop boats, carrying
the ten regiments. In this order they proceeded down the river, the ships being, in compliment to the day, dressed with the colours of all nations, and most of them, as well as the different corps along shore, saluting with cannon as they passed, until the leading boats came to Greenwich.
The company in the lord mayor's barge landed at the centre stairs, and were received at the governor's house, until it was time to repair to the Heath. The other city barges landed their company at the same place.
The gun-boats and fencibles having moored, the corps were landed, under a discharge of great guns and musketry.
On their arrival at the bottom of Greenwich Hill, the whole formed into a kind of close column, in order to proceed to Blackheath. The river fencibles, under the command of commodore Lucas, assisted by a detachment of the Westminster light borse, formed an opening through the crowd, from the bottom of the hill, to the gate leading on to the Heath. The committee led the van, preceded by a band, with the ten pair of colours, and standards for the cavalry. On their arrival at the top of the bill, they drew up on the right of the gate, and the regiments passed them in companies, according to seniority of number, headed by his royal highness the duke of York, attended by his staff, to the Heath, and took up their ground, which extended for full two miles, being the whole extremity of the spot.
They being now in full readiness to receive the lord mayor, committee, and attendants, his royal highness dispatched an aid-de-camp, to acquaint the mayor and members of the corporation that the troops were ready to receive them; on which his lordship proceeded to the centre of the troops, when, on a gun being fired, the whole line presented arms, officers saluted, drums beat, &c. On another gun being fired, a standard guard, from the London vo. lunteer cavalry, and the grenadiers of each corps, accompanied by the ensigns who were to receive the colours, and preceded by their respective bands, advanced to a position which lord Harrington had marked out for them in the centre, and where his royal highness and the lord mayor had placed themselves. The ten companies of grenadiers, and the standard guard of the cavalry, formed a circle round them, in which were, her royal highness the princess Charlotte of Wales, the lord mayor's party, and from six to seven hundred persons of rank and distinction.
The colours were now unfurled, and consecrated in the most solemn manner; after which the ensigns came forward, and, kneeling down, received them, with a speech from the
right honourable the lord mayor *; which being concluded, the ensigns rose by command, and placed themselves, with their colours, in the centre of their respective companies, who faced to the right about, and marched in ordinary time to their regiments.
On the colours being paraded in front of each regiment, the word was given, to form circle of battalions, when the commanding officer of each addressed his regiment in a short speech on the occasion.
* Speech of the lord mayor, on the presentation of the colours:
“ GENTLEMEN, “ I cannot but consider myself peculiarly fortunate in being called on by my official situation to discharge a duty so gratifying as that which on the present occasion has devolved on me.
“ Gentlemen, It would be a vain attempt for me to describe the sensation to which this sublime spectacle gives birth. Powers far superior to mine could not do justice to the scene which here presents itself-could pay but an inadequate tribute of applause to these gallant and patriotic bands, who, roused by the voice of honour, yield their pleasures and their occupations a willing sacrifice at the shrine of their country. Yes; it remained for the present age to prove that the citizens of London inherit the same ardent spirit-glow with the same devotion to the sacred cause of Freedom and Independence, as distinguished their immortal ancestors, who, in the proudest periods of Britain's fame, were still most conspicuous in the career of glory. It was reserved for the present age to prove the falsehood of the imputation, that the Genius of Commerce had subdued the fire of freedom in our breasts, and to evince that those who by civilization and industry best learn to acquire wealth—by their intrepidity and exertions best know how to preserve it.
“ Gentlemen, To your perseverance and attention, as well as to the order of those you command, are to be attributed their high state of discipline and appearance. Your own feelings, and the approbation of your country, forin the most honourable, and I am sure, to you the most gratifying reward.
“Gentlemen, I am presenting to you the colours, a tribute of the gratitude of your fellow citizens, and the best mark of their attachment to their brethren in arms. Allow me to say, I rely with confidence that you will receive them as the most sacred deposit which can be entrusted to your care; and that, as the city of London is the first in the empire, its citizens will be the first to afford a bright example of devotion in a cause of which they have already shewn themselves so worthy." Vol. V. No. 106.
The corps here gave three cheers, and being, by another signal gun, thrown into line, they fired three vollies of battalions, from right to left of the line.
On another signal gun being fired, the whole line wheeled backwards by companies, and by a similar signal stepped forward in ordinary time to pass the royal party, &c. in review order. Her royal highness the princess Charlotte of Wales was in a close carriage; she stood at the window, and returned each salute with a wave of her hand from her bosom, in a very attractive manner.
This spectacle was the most interesting which had for a long time been witnessed, and afforded infinite gratification to thousands of spectators.
This heath is skirted with the villas of her ROYAL HIGHNESS THE PRINCESS OF WALES; and her august mother, her SERENE HIGHNESS THE DUTCHESS OF BRUNSWICK, bis ma. jesty's eldest sister. The princess's villa is an irregular stuccoed brick building, on the west side of Greenwich Park. The house had been inhabited by the duke of Baccleugh, and his lady's father the late duke of Montagu, from whom the avenue was denominated MONTAGU WALK.
CHESTERFIELD House, so called from having been formerly the residence of the celebrated earl of Chesterfield, is now the property of Richard Hulse, Esq. held by tease from the crown. Mr. Hulse has a fine picture gallery, containing the works of the most eminent antient masters, and among other portraits, those of Philip, the seventh earl of Pembroke, by Vandyke; and Sir John Coke, secretary of state to Charles I. by Jansen.
Near this is the house which is rendered famous for having been the occasional residence of the immortal general WOLFE ; now the residence of Mr. Helton.
Adjoining to the house of the countess dowager of Dartmouth*, is an elegant chapel, which was rebuilt by the
* In digging in the earl's garden, a few years since, at about one foot below the gravel, which here forms the natural surface of the heath, se
late lord, and hath public service in it three times a week, for the benefit of the neighbourhood. On the north side of the great road, near the five mile stone, bebind a pleasant grove, is a' row of genteel houses, called Chocolate Row, from the house where the assembly is kept. At the west end of those houses, is a delightful lawn, named The Point, from which is one of the richest prospects that the imagination of the poet or painter can conceive. At the north-east corner of the heath, and almost joining to Maize Hill, are Vanbrugh Fields, so called from Sir John Vanbrugh, who erected upon this spot some buildings in a peculiar taste, designed to resemble a fortification with towers, battlements, and other military ap. pearances. There is also a gateway of a like construction, under which you pass in your approach to them. One of these whimsical houses was lately the habitation of lord Tyrawley, who sold it Mr. Charles Brett; it is now inhabited by Mr. Halford.
The greatest ornament of Blackheath, was the magni. ficent seat of Sir Gregory Page. It consisted of a centre, united to two wings by a colonnade; and was adorned with masterly paintings, rich hangings, marbles, and alto relievos. Sir Gregory died in 1775, and left this seat to his nephew, fir Gregory Turner, who took the name and arms of Page. Sir Gregory Page Turner disposed of the noble collection of paintings by auction; and, by virtue of an act of parliament, the house and grounds were sold in the same manner to John Cator, Esq of Beckenhamn, for 22,5501. This gentleman sold it again by auction, in a very different way; all the materials, with its magnificent decorations, being sold in separate lots *.
veral Roman urns were found, an account of which was communicated by the earl of Dartmouth to the society of antiquaries; the urns were presented to the British Museum.
* The remains of this noble seat, now a melancholy shell, may remind the reader of Canons, rear Edgeware, the once princely palace of the princely Chandos, which rose and disappeared in less thau half a century! Similar was the fate of Eastbury in Dorsetshire, a magnificent seat,